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Old December 6, 2020, 05:49 PM   #1
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Do you clean your guns? How often / how long does it take?

I just spent the afternoon cleaning guns and wondering, wondering how often most gu owners clean their guns and how long does it take, rifles and handguns?
Do you just clean the barrel and call it done, or disassemble the whole gun and put it in an ultrasonic cleaner?

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Old December 6, 2020, 06:00 PM   #2
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It greatly depends on the gun and it's intended use. My carry pistol gets cleaned after each use. Once a month I shoot the two magazines that I carry with it, just to keep fresh ammo with me at all times. That's 15 rounds. My competition pistols get cleaned before a match, or when they start to malfunction due to being dirty. That can be any where from 300-400 rounds for centerfire to 1000 rounds of rimfire. Range/plinking/blasting pistols, maybe once a year or so, or if they start to malfunction, sooner. Rifles, about the same.
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Old December 6, 2020, 08:09 PM   #3
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I don't clean until I see the reason to. The action is visibly gunk up, accuracy degrades, the gun is to be put back to storage...

I used to clean every time I shot, because I enjoyed doing that(weird). Gradually I started questioning why.


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Last edited by tangolima; December 6, 2020 at 10:00 PM.
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Old December 6, 2020, 09:34 PM   #4
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I throw my Glock in the dishwasher every so often.
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Old December 6, 2020, 10:08 PM   #5
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I clean after each time a gun is shot, just a basic field strip and cleaning.
Say when.....
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Old December 6, 2020, 10:14 PM   #6
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Cleaned after any range time , and periodically just taken from the safe and wiped with an oiled cloth.
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Old December 6, 2020, 11:33 PM   #7
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If it gets shot, it gets cleaned. The more rounds, the deeper the cleaning. The time it takes to clean depends on the gun and the cleaning needs.
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Old December 7, 2020, 02:05 AM   #8
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after every range session. Disassemble and wipe down, patch and brush barrel, lightly oil everything. For guns that don't get out as often, usually every 4-6 months they get taken out and oiled.

How long it takes..... hard to say. depends on how dirty it is. I would say after a range session with 2-3 guns, probably 20-30min, unless i have a rifle that needs a couple passes or to soak a bit.
I don't believe in "range fodder" that is why I reload.

Last edited by Shadow9mm; December 8, 2020 at 07:16 PM.
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Old December 7, 2020, 07:42 AM   #9
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After every use, and for those not used that and are resting in a lonely safe, maybe every six months. But since I clean outside on the back deck or front porch, I usually do it during the warm months.
I give MY OPINION (not often) based on many years shooting at, other than paper targets. I will not debate my experience vs. your experience based on dreams and "what ifs." I'm 73; I'm too damn old to care.
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Old December 7, 2020, 08:41 AM   #10
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After hunting season is over, or any time I'm going to possibly store them for a long time ..... these days, that's pretty much every time I shoot them. I'm an Army vet, so cleaning guns means take 'em apart and CLEAN them, then lube lightly and store. I do a 3 day bore cleaning routine in the centerfire rifles, to get all the copper out.
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Old December 7, 2020, 10:41 AM   #11
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Handguns, at around 200 rounds. Shotguns, when ever. Rifles .22s ??????? High powered rifles, hunting rifle after hunting season, ARs if not gonna shoot anytime soon. Be careful with your rifles, a metal cleaning rod can easily damage a rifle barrel.
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Old December 7, 2020, 01:28 PM   #12
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I clean my guns after each use.

Maybe not a complete disassemble clean,,,
But a good brush and wet mop through the bore,,,
And get after the chamber/bolt face with a wet Q-tip.

Mainly because I am very OCD,,,
It weighs heavily on my mind to let a dirty gun sit.


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Old December 7, 2020, 01:57 PM   #13
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I used to clean after each range session. Then I read someone say that after you clean it, how do you know you put it back together right? Now, I clean before each range session. Range time confirms functionality.
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Old December 7, 2020, 02:16 PM   #14
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I clean after each and every trip to the range.

In fact, I'm kind of anal about it. I find it enjoyable and relaxing as well.

After all my years in the Army old habits die hard.
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Old December 7, 2020, 05:54 PM   #15
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I clean the bore at the range just to avoid having to unpack the rifle again when I get back home. I run 2-4 wet patches down the bore, go get my target(s), run a brush down the bore depending on the gun, a couple more wet patches to soak a bit while I pack up other range gear, then dry patches. I give the bolt a quick look for anything unusual, and put the rifle back in the carry case.
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Old December 7, 2020, 06:05 PM   #16
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The US Marine Corps ruined me. I either clean them on range day or the day after. Amount of time depends on the weapon.
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Old December 7, 2020, 07:18 PM   #17
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After every use while I enjoy an adult beverage..........or two.
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Old December 7, 2020, 08:26 PM   #18
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I clean them after every range trip , even if I only fired half box of ammo

also depends how long it's been in storage, if it hasnt been lubed in over 6 months , I check it and if i can still see a wet coat or lube, it's ready to fire

if it's been in storage for a year or more, I usually do a quick field strip and relube before taking it out to the range

but I never put a dirty gun back in the safe, because it could be a long time before I use it again.

surplus firearms that use corrosive ammunition get special care, I use hot soapy water and use a transmission funnel and pour hot soapy water down the bore and clean the bolt and other areas and, before regular cleaning & lube, then I let it sit for a few days before putting it away and check it again, to make sure all the moisture has dried out
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Old December 7, 2020, 10:14 PM   #19
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Rimfire(22 LR) about every 500+ rounds . CF handguns couple times/year.

All guns get wiped w/ RIG EVERY time they go into the lockup.
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Old December 7, 2020, 11:28 PM   #20
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Whenever I feel like it.
Thats almost always before the slide/bolt begins to noticeably slow and if I do notice reduced velocity I clean the firearm.
That goes for what I carry as well. Many people will say that they won't carry a gun that hasn't hit x amount of rounds without malfunction. I too have a test, though the idea is to see how the gun acts when it is close to failure due to a lack of cleaning. On several firearms I've not gotten to that point. Usually because I feel like cleaning them before that happens.
one of my carry guns had ~ 3.5k rounds through it without cleaning and no malfunctions. One day I came home to find my wife cleaning it because she was bored! I hadn't cleaned it because I didn't really have a reason to, and I just never got around to it. I've had an AR with a similar round count. To me its more about adequate and frequent lubrication than actual cleaning.

I'm not a collector. I don't have guns that are historically or sentimentally important. They are all tools and I do what is necessary to keep the tools running.
Edit: poor grammar.

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Old December 8, 2020, 10:10 AM   #21
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Centerfire... cleaned after use. Rimfire... every other year.

I enjoy cleaning them, the smell of Hoppes #9, burned gunpowder, 3 in 1 oil, etc. Reminds me of my childhood and the people I miss... who are no longer around.
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Old December 8, 2020, 10:12 AM   #22
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A wife that will clean your guns...

You are one lucky guy.
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Old December 8, 2020, 11:30 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by jmhyer View Post
A wife that will clean your guns...

You are one lucky guy.
When I was stationed in NC she didn't have a job, and once the house is clean... you can only watch reruns of criminal minds so many times
But really I'm the luckiest guy alive. When I get back from the range, she'll say " which ones can we clean?". She likes to spend time doing that kind of thing together!

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Old December 11, 2020, 07:57 PM   #24
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I tend to do a white glove cleaning every time i go to the range or every other month if they sit. I'm very OCD with my firearms an try to keep very good care of them. its to the point my girlfriend has told me I take care of them more than I do with her....
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Old December 11, 2020, 08:12 PM   #25
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If it's corrosive ammo, I clean my firearm as soon as I return home.
If I'm shooting test loads with regular smokeless powder, maybe every third time I go to the range. And If I do clean it, it's the night before I go to the range.

I own a .45 that I rarely shot at first. Twelve years past until I finally decided to clean it, just out of curiosity.
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